As winter arrives, Jeffreys Bay residents can brace themselves for an increase in electricity charges as well as rolling blackouts that will have an impact on everybody.
Eskom has been warning for months that power consumption will exceed supply and there will simply not be enough power for everybody. Each municipality has been tasked with managing the blackouts fairly.
The Kouga Municipality has come up with a novel idea to distribute electricity for the winter months, which unfortunately will not please everybody.
Starting from this week, power supply will be cut to the township areas of Pellsrus, Tokyo Sexwale and Ocean View from 7 am in the mornings to 7 pm in the evenings.
More controversially, power will be cut to Wavecrest from 7 am – 10 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Explaining the rationale behind these rather alarming decisions, the Municipal Electricity Department said that it was clear that comsumers had been irresponsible with electricity usage and must now “take the punch”.
“Together with Eskom we have been asking consumers for months to turn off their appliances and to save electricity but nobody paid any attention. People must not come and complain now that we are treating them like children when they have been acting like children all along”, says the Municipality.
“We have made it fair on everybody and the townships will not have power during the week when everybody is at work but there will be power over the weekends to ensure our people can enjoy themselves at home.
The Wavecrest people like to braai on the weekends so they do not need power to cook so that is why they will have no power on Saturday and Sunday from this weekend. They can watch the rugby next year again if they save more electricity in the future”.
The chairman of the Black Chamber of Commerce, Mr Fuli April welcomed the manner in which the Kouga Municipality is handling the crises. “In tough times, we expect the Council to lead us and I am pleased to see that innovative decisions are being made that will benefit all the people of Kouga”, said April.
“I am very proud of how the residents of Jeffreys Bay are prepared to make sacrifices to ensure the wheels of commerce can continue rolling in the Kouga.”
“Business will not be affected at all by the blackouts and the bigger shops in Wavecrest can use their generators which will in turn have a positive impact on the petrol stations in the town”, added April.
The new electricity policy will kick in from today in the townships and on Saturday in Wavecrest.